Friday, April 14, 2006

Romania Trip: 2006

On the way there...

I started my trip off on March 30, from the Greensboro airport, en route to my home country of Romania. It’s been almost 2 years (one year and 7 months mom wanted to be precise) since my last visit… This entry will be about some thoughts and scenes I came across on the way here… I love people watching when I travel, and I love to soak myself in the moment of being there, in various environments that I am not normally in every day… I find having an ipod, or even a laptop (sometimes even a book) distracting and preventing you from really getting the most out of the travels. Of course, if you fly for a living, a laptop distraction might be needed since you do need to get away some. For me, the travels are still a luxury and I like to savor them, just like I do a good meal… So, people watching is what I did, and tried to take down some snippets of life on this 18 hour journey to Bucharest. Here we go:

- for the first couple of hours (before we took off from American soil in Washington), I kept obsessing with things I forgot to do when I left home… Like forgot to unplug my cell from the charger and forgot to tell my home keeper to plug in the filter for the fish, forgot (not sure) to clean my coffee maker… I was pulled back, and could not focus on the trip at all; amazing how we can be such slaves to our routine; I needed to let go and just literally fly away and feel free… Everything was out of my control at that point; slowly, like a baby falling asleep and slowly releasing the clutch it has on your finger, I finally let go.

- Washington Dulles airport was a zoo… It’s amazing what people do in airports that wouldn’t normally do in regular public places; this maybe 14 year old in a group of teens, had pulled out ALL her paper money and meticulously arranged them in line, in neat rows and columns on the floor. She made a carpet out of the bills, then she laid herself down on the “money carpet”, her legs on the chair and just looked at the ceiling and sang, waiting for her flight.

- The longest lag of the flight (Washington to Frankfurt, almost 8 hours) was probably the most uncomfortable; I was to sit next to this 300 pound woman, who was mad as all hell that “they don’t make planes bigger nowadays. Why don’t they make bigger plane seats nowadays, since the people are not as small as they used to be.” Then she looked at my barely 100 lbs frame and said, and added: “And by people I don’t mean all o’ ya’ Zeros!!!! I mean all the other people!!!”. I smiled, but did not agree; I was “a zero”, so, I guess non-values don’t talk! At any rate, we could not pull the arm rest between our chairs down the entire 8 hours, because she could not have fit in just one chair; she over flew into mine; so I sat on one half of a chair, with the meaty woman pressing into my thigh and ribs; needless to say, I could not control my reading light nor my volume for my radio, which both were mounted into the armrest we could not have access to; But, I was a “zero”, so zeros can’t be too picky; I tried to read and sleep my way through the flight; she woke me up twice to eat… Sure, that was nice! But just in the defense of the “zeros” maybe they should consider making bigger planes, since people are not considering eating less and staying slim, just so the “zeros” can travel in a full chair as well!

- I also had a screaming little girl in the chair in front of me, who kept staring at me over her seat and screaming at the top of her lungs the entire night; just screaming, not really crying nor singing, just yelling, man… tirelessly!!!! I put my headphones on, and since I could not mess with the volume and the volume was loud, I left it loud and I could not hear much of anything else, not even my thoughts; I was too short to see the projection screen, and could not watch the movie they played, since the chair in front of me was too tall… So, yippee… Nice night. Thank god for the Kerouac book I had (I know, way overdue!!!), and the Sudoku one as well as for my journal! You gotta take the fun where you find it… At any rate, I had not two second-thoughts about paying $5 for a Miller Light, because trust me: my nerves at that point NEEDED IT!!!  Yummiest beer I ever had, too… Sitting conspicuously on a United napkin with the slogan “Low Fares Guaranteed”… thinking of my overpriced beverage, that made me smile!

- In Frankfurt, I boarded yet another plane, to Bucharest; this was full of older American couples, that were flying to Romania to go on a cruise on the Danube. I love old people, generally, because they have such a peace about them, and they’re so funny! They’ve developed a humor that I can only dream of mustering one day! One of the jokes I heard that day, from them stuck in my head…Two older gentlemen were asking each other how long they’d been married: one said 40 years while the other 49; the one who said 49 told the one who said 40: “Yeah, trust me, the first 49 years are the hardest! (rolled his eyes). I should have shot her when I married her. I would have been out by now and it would have been the same thing!” – the whole bus that was taking us to the plane was on the floor, and I congratulated myself once more for my own thoughts on marriage… because, see, the voice of wisdom spoke and it agreed with me…

- We got to Bucharest safe and sound and one and a half hour late; not a problem, as long as the delay was not a day late, and as long as we were safe. Beers were free on Lufthansa, but it was way early in the morning and I was in a too good a mood now because my travel partners were so sweet and funny that I didn’t get one.

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